Published Date : Nov 16, 2015
As the time for the next Olympic Games, to be held in Japan in 2020, draws closer, the country is struggling to get its preparations on track. What’s adding to these concerns is the continuously delaying start of the construction of the national stadium where majority of the games are to be held. The centerpiece of the games, the beginning of construction of this stadium has now been pushed to the start of 2017.
The delay comes as the country slids back into a phase of recession as the fragile economy struggles with issues such as sluggish investments and declining capital expenditures.
A public outcry over mounting costs has already led to the scrapping of a previous design of the stadium. It was an instance of embarrassment for the country which is otherwise renowned for its timeliness and efficiency. Japan’s reputation of timeliness and efficiency had helped the country in winning the opportunity to host the Summer Olympic Games over Istanbul and Madrid in 2013.
After the previous futuristic design for the stadium, created by Zaha Hadid Architects of the UK,was scrapped by country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe amid the public outcry over costs, which then had an estimate of £1.4 billion or 265.1 billion yen, the International Olympic Committee had to intervene and call for a completion limit of January 2020.
The stadium was earlier planned to have been completed in time so that it could also host matches of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the delay also led to outrage among rugby association officials. The rugby matches will now be hosted in the city of Yokohama. After the first designed was scrapped, Japan’s sports minister Hakuban Shimomura had resigned for his post.
In another blow to the country’s reputation, the Games logo was also scrapped by Olympic organizers over the claims of plagiarism. The stadium, which has now been allotted an estimated budget of 155 billion yen, does not yet have a design plan.